What's in her name?

What's in her name (Salish Aire)?

from her new home the Salish Sea

Aire as in a melody of song.

Salish + Aire = The melody of the Salish Sea.

Salish Sea:
In the late 1700's Captain George Vancouver wandered around the waters of what are now known as British Columbia, Canada and Washington State, USA. He did the usual 1700's explorer thing and put names he chose on everything he saw. The names stuck and are recognized and used to this day.

New lines were added to Captain Vancouver's charts in 1872 (after a near war with Great Britain over a pig) which made waters on one side of the line Canadian and those on the other side of the line American.

It wasn't until 1988 (officiated in 2009) that someone finally realized that fish and various critters, (to say nothing of the water itself) were never involved in the boundary treaties and really ignored them completely. (This is best illustrated by the problems that Homeland Security has with Canadian Canada Geese and American Canadian Geese - it seems they refuse to carry passports and have been known to poop on the head of any border patrol person who tries to challenge their right to cross the border when and where they choose!) In reality the waters from Olympia to the well up the East side of Vancouver Island are pretty much one ecosystem.

The Coast Salish are the indigenous peoples who live in southwest British Columbia and northwest Washington state along the Salish Sea and share a common linguistic and cultural origin. The Salish Sea is named in honor of the earliest recorded peoples who plied her waters and learned to live in harmony with her.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Boat Warming and Blessing and "Secret Passages"

 Our daughter and her 3 children came for an extended visit from their home in Ontario.  Seems she figured she would use her brother's wedding as an excuse to visit us, her Washington friends, and escape the humidity and bugs. (Western Washington is incredibly comfortable this time of year and humidity with heat is pretty much unheard of.)  Her husband will show up later this week.

The Grandkids have provided endless entertainment as they have discovered the boat. 5 year old Grandson H noticed the "trap door" (AKA engine room hatch) in the floor almost immediately and spent the next three hours searching everywhere for "secret passages" and "secret compartments" with his headlamp on.  Once he found the engine room door and opened it he could hardly contain his excitement! (He really is MY grandson!)  He had to wait for the next morning before we allowed him to explore the engine room and he was up at the crack of dawn with his headlamp ready for his adventure to begin. 4 year old Granddaughter V immediately renewed her long standing mutual love affair with Jarvis.  And finally 9 year old Grandson C declared the pilot house berth to be his "turf" and started moving in to his space where he could rest from younger siblings.

Today we had an open house boat warming and blessing of the boat and her new name.  We had a proverbial as well as actual boatload of visitors.  Grandson C made sure everyone got through the gate to the dock, Grandson H made sure everyone got to see the engine room and "secret passages", and Granddaughter V kept everyone entertained.  Jarvis was generally well behaved but was very happy to discover that when his people "accidentally" lock him on the bow deck area that he can get back into the boat by diving through the hatch screen onto our bed.

The blessing of the boat and her new name was officiated by our Episcopal Priest, Rev. Rachel Taber-Hamilton.  Frankly, we expected a few kind words when we asked her to come, instead she put together a lovely service.

Here are a couple of excerpts:

Poem by Lucille Clifton
may the tide
that is entering even now
the lip of our understanding
carry you out
beyond the face of fear
may you kiss
the wind then turn from it
certain that it will
love your back
may you open your eyes to
water waving forever
and may you in your innocence
sail through this to that

I bless thee, Salish Aire, in the name of the Father who created the waters above and below the heavens, in the name of the Son who sailed in life upon the Sea of Galilee and whom even storms obey, and in the name of the Holy Spirit who is born to us as a changing wind to carry us to new places and new life.  AMEN

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Vistors are Starting to Come

I think all of our tales of "working our tails off" every day to organize the boat has kept folks away even though we have always said that folks stopping by causes us to take some very welcome breaks - they just have to understand that things are not to "Clarice" condition ("Bristol" has nothing on Clarice - keep reading).

Clarice's parents stopped by last week for lunch. ET our grandson from Portland spent last week on the boat with us. Then last Saturday my sister and brother-in-law brought my parents up.  This was a bit of a big deal as Dad is pretty disabled with a stroke and Parkinson's and Mom is convinced that anything within 50 ft of ocean water is sure to get hit by a tsunami or sink or be eaten by sharks...... Worse yet Mom has been convinced that the day we stepped on the boat would be the last we would spend in Washington.  I think she now understands that we don't live on a wooden raft held together with rusty nails and duct tape that makes you sea sick every time the wind blows more than 2 knots.

Today one of Clarice's (many) sisters came by with her husband and two kids.  After dinner we took the dingy over to Jetty Island.  I figured the water would be not-as-cold since the tide had come in over about 1/2 mile of warm sand with today's mega tide change but didn't expect it to be really warm!  We turned our backs expecting the kids to wade a bit and turned around and they were flopping in the surf like a couple of mackerels.  The really nice thing is they gave me an excuse to not take on a project when I got home as my back has been protesting mightily.

Oh, about "Clarice Clean", anyone who knows Clarice knows that our homes have always had a "comfortable messiness" about them but you could eat off the floor.  The past couple of days Clarice has responded to her inner passion and attacked the decks with soft scrub, a hand brush (yes, on her knees) and finally, the coup-d-grace her (no longer in mouth duty) toothbrush.  After nearly 40 years I have learned to just stay out of the way when she is in a cleaning and/or organizing mood (I also try to keep Jarvis at a safe distance so he doesn't get the toothbrush and cleanser treatment.)  I will say that the deck looks really nice!

A note about Jarvis our Jackhuahua:  He really loves having kids around (our granddaughter has been able to poke him in the eye since she was 9 months old and he still adored her).  We took off in the dingy with the niece and nephew and he stood on the front deck watching us and let out the saddest, loudest, wail we have ever heard from the little guy.  Clarice had to come back and put him inside the closed boat where he settled down.  I think if he knew that our granddaughter and her brothers were coming next week he wouldn't sleep for next 5 days waiting.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Birthday stove, first SCUBA, and first night at anchor

We continue to work on the boat's systems and learn about them. 
  • Pumping the blackwater tanks was still being an ordeal.  The Port of Everett includes every-other-week pump our service as part of our moorage contract but when the expert pooper pumper girl showed up she let Clarice know that "it just isn't working right" and suggested we check our tank vents.  We disconnected the vent line from the tank we knew how to access and the poo pumping went much better!  A water flush through the line and we think we have it fixed.  That left the second tank which we have never actually found.  After tracing the hoses we finally found the access under my clothing drawers in the main berth.  Some testing suggested that the problem was a clogged vent with tank #2 as well.  Some sucking of the vent hose with a vacuum cleaner seems to have cleared that one.
  • We still haven't been able to get our diesel furnace to light.  This is more a "we would like to know if there is a problem" issue than a we need it right now as we are having record setting hot weather.  I think I know enough about the system now to be able to troubleshoot it but the next steps really would be easier with 2 people so I've put it off until Clarice and I get some time to work together.
  • We do have 3 air conditioning units that did test OK when the boat was surveyed.  The can also be run in "reverse" and used as heaters.  When we tested them the one in the main salon didn't get any sea water to carry away or add heat (boat systems often use sea water rather than air as water is a much better heat transfer mechanism and is generally a better temperature for cooling an air conditioner).  On further inspection we found a clogged sea strainer in the back lazarette (an hold filled with equipment and used for storage under the back cockpit deck).  I managed to fold myself into the lazarette and clean the strainer followed by disassembling the sea water pump to make it happy so it would pump water to the air conditioner.  Now that the system works, it turns the main salon into a refrigerator very quickly when its hot outside.
  • Our first big (and planned before purchase) modification was to install a "professional" size stove/oven in the galley.  The boat originally had a standard marine stove but a previous owner decided they would rather have a dishwasher and cooktop and use the microwave/convection oven for the oven.  The advantage in hot climates is that the convection oven creates a lot less heat in the galley.  In any case I bought Clarice the new large size stove for her birthday.  After the cooktop, cabinetry and dishwasher were removed we decided we should go ahead and replace the 20 year old propane hose.  Step one: trace the hose requiring climbing in little cabinet doors and pulling the ceiling down in the guest berth. Step two: another trip to Sure Marine in Seattle as they were the only place we could find that could make up a new marine grade propane hose. Step three: have Clarice put her shoulders into some very small cabinet doors (I have wide shoulders and physically can't fit) and pull out the old hose while feeding the new hose. In the end the stove did fit in the space of the old stove without having to modify either the cabinetry or the stove and it looks great.
  • We were concerned when we chose this particular boat that it didn't have a swim platform as we are both advanced divers and are eager to dive off of the boat.  We did find the boarding ladder and decided it was a long and strong one so before we went to a lot of expense we should try diving once.  Today we anchored out a few miles from home and dove (for the first time in a long time - boy were we out of practice) off the boat.  Our first impression is that we may be able to forgo the swim step as we have certainly gotten out of and into boats with much less comfortable arrangements. (It is also nice to have the electric boom crane lift our gear out of the water and onto the boat rather than dragging it over the side when we are really tired after a dive like we had to do on our last two boats.
  • Tonight we are training on Salish Aire's anchoring gear and flopper stopper system.  We chose an unprotected cove near our home marina that we knew would be open to wind and ferry wakes so we could see how she lays at anchor with her flopper stopper motion calming system.  So far it has been very comfortable with 2 ft wind waves and 3+ foot ship wakes.  We do need to work on how we connect the anchor bridle to the anchor chain.  We have always had boats with nylon rope anchor lines ("rodes").  The nylon acts as a shock absorber between the anchor and the boat.  With an all-chain rode a nylon rope bridle is recommended to absorb some of the shock.  So far we have not felt we have a good system for attaching the bridle - more to learn!
Now its time for me to get to bed for our first night at anchor.